Many people can identify books that changed their lives, or books they read as teens that made them want to be a writer. I don't have any of those.
Growing up I loved to read, and devoured books like the Babysitters Club, Boxcar Children, Sweet Valley High and Nancy Drew. But then I hit high school and that all changed. For English class we were given stuff like Beowulf, The Scarlett Letter, and The Canterbury Tales.
Not that there was anything really bad about these books, but they didn't exactly make me long to cozy up next to a crackling fire and read them. I really wanted to keep reading about romance with the Wakefield Twins, what mysteries Nancy would unexpectedly find, and completely unrealistic plots that really entertained me. I didn't want to try to determine what passages like this meant:
My brain, my brain. I like to use it, but when reading it likes enjoyment and to relax. Which is why I probably read Sweet Valley High books for a little too long, then stopped reading completely, and why when I finally realized not everyone has to read books like you did for AP English, I started to enjoy reading again. And yes, it may have taken me several years after college to come to that conclusion, but at least I discovered it before it was too late.
"The miller is a lout, as you're aware;
So was the reeve, and so were many more.
They both told bawdy stories. Then beware,
And do not lay upon me all the blame,
Or take in earnest what is meant in fun."
Had I known about awesome books like these when I was in High School, I think I would have been doing more than checking out home-decorating books, fashion magazines, movies, and music during my semi-regular visits to the library.
--Emily, Miss Querylicious